Michael Shanks is wrong - SG-1 is not dead

by Paul William Tenny

MGMBefore I even get into why Michael Shanks -- star of SG-1 and one of my favorite Canadian actors -- was wrong about his own show being dead, I need to quickly explain how it is that I've got ground to speak on the subject. Despite having greater access to the entire Stargate universe than I do, Shanks is sharing his opinion on the future of SG-1 based only on his perceptions.

Unless he's holding back, he doesn't really know anything that I don't on the matter and it would appear that I know a great deal more.

My stories on the future of the SG-1 and Atlantis movies are subjective, yes, and therefore subject to being proven wrong at any time, but they are not really based on my opinion. They are inferences based on known factors like MGM's walking-dead financial status and their prior business arrangements with producers to write scripts that have were completed some time ago.

Rather than rehash those things, I'll refer you to my latest story on what I believe is the cause of the delay in the production of the new two straight-to-DVD films and what it means. What I wrote then applies today. MGM just received another forbearance agreement with its creditors so that it can continue the process of trying to sell itself. MGM cannot and will not move forward on a low-profile but not low-cost project like Stargate DVD movies until their financial problems have been resolved.

But believe me when I say that MGM wouldn't have spent money on two scripts (which admittedly would be one of the cheaper expenditures moving forward) if they didn't intend to turn them into two films in the near future.

Nobody does that, especially not what you're just about bankrupt.

This is all in regards to a story from SCI FI Wire (via Airlock Alpha which basically just rewrote it) with quotes from Shanks:

Given the amount of time lag that's gone on between us doing the movies, I suspect that we might be very far away from, if ever, doing another DVD movie. This might be the closing of the book on that particular [chapter of the] franchise..

As I've written previously, and it kind of surprises me that Michael Shanks of all people isn't more in touch with the situation, this has nothing to do with MGM wanting or not wanting to do more SG-1 movies. If it was, then MGM wouldn't have paid for a SG-1 script to be written and the Atlantis movie would still be a go.

MGM simply can't afford either of them right now. Doesn't that make more sense than a studio badly in need of revenue deciding to start dropping pieces of one of its most successful franchises because it got bored with the premise?

With all respect to Michael, nobody knows the ultimate fate of the SG-1 and Atlantis features, including myself. MGM may not find another company willing to take on its massive debt and hold its hand as it goes through bankruptcy. It may find a handful of different companies that are only interested in buying some of MGM's valuable properties in pieces, with Stargate going to someone else with other plans for it, or going nowhere at all, left to die with what's left of MGM.

MGM may be in and out of bankrupcty in a month with both movies greenlit shortly thereafter, or the entire franchise could be dead by next year.

Speculation at this point from anyone isn't worth much, but that doesn't meant that some speculation isn't more worthless than others. This is probably the more worthless kind because it's not based on reality, just perception.

Relax, wait and see what happens with MGM. That'll be the best sign yet of what the future holds for Stargate.

in Business, Television


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The thing is that your opinion is well, yours, and Michael Shanks is, well, his. The thing is that the only people who truly know if there will ever be any more Stargate films is probably a bunch of suits in some office, and not the production.

Spending money on scripts isn't costly in the greater scheme of things. You're probably talking 5 figures to pay for a script. However, movies are more like millions, so there's a massive jump in cost.

But Michael is right. The longer this drags, the less likely there will be films, because the actors aren't going to wait around for a phone call. They're busy moving on with their lives and careers.

So, well, I'm not holding my breath. I'd turn purple and croak if I did ;)

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